The Hot & Zesty Peanut-Tahini Dressing

The following is one of those recipes I forget about until I have a serious craving for something it will go well with, but also one I want to put on everything every time I make it.

Tonight, the craving was for something that was hearty, but kind of the opposite of the rich, buttery, hot foods we’ve been eating of late. As such, I used my miracle sauce in a salad of cold rice noodles, chick peas, red onion, celery, cucumber and grated carrot (basically, noodles + all of the veg we had on hand because they were about go to waste and I couldn’t be arsed to go to the store).

The sauce/dressing also works well in stir fries, on grilled meats (especially ribs), grilled or roasted veg, on sandwiches, and as a dip for cold spring rolls or just raw vegetables.

What you need:

  • 1/4 cup of tahini
  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp light soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp grated, fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp chili-garlic or other hot sauce (I use sriracha in a pinch)
  • 1 lemon or lime
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup fresh or 1 tbsp dried Thai basil*
  • 1/4 cup fresh or 1 tbsp dried mint*

What you do:

  1. In a food processor, toss the tahini, peanut butter, garlic, tamarind paste, soya sauce, and hot sauce and blend for about a minute until loosely combined.
  2. Scrape down the processor bowl with a spatula.
  3. Add the juice of the lemon or lime.
  4. Blend again, slowly adding the water until smooth and loose, like a dressing.
  5. Add the mint and basil and pulse until combined.
  6. Drizzle on, slather on, or dip into it whatever your wee hearts desire.

*I am very lucky in that I have an Asian grocer just four blocks away from home who sells big bags of fresh herbs for about $2 each. They’re easily three times as much as I get in bubble pack from Freshco for the same price. I rarely go through that much while it’s fresh, so I hang it on a hook on my kitchen door, which is pretty much perfect for drying herbs because it’s a shady, dry area of the house. As you can see in the pic, I opted not to incorporate the mint and basil into the sauce and sprinkled it atop each bowl instead. Either way works, but I urge you to check out the herbs available from your local Asian grocers and dry them yourself. They’re so much more pungent than most herbs one can purchase already dried and a better bang for your buck.



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